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Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1 review

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Armor Hunters: Harbinger brings the Generation Zero kids from the main Harbinger series into the spotlight, and throws them right in the center of Mexico City to help with relief efforts after the destruction of the city at the hands of the Armor Hunters.

The story

screenshot-by-nimbus (16) While the title of this book includes the words “Armor Hunters,” you do not need to be reading the event to know what’s happening in this issue. This issue could have easily been part of a new Harbinger ongoing, and that’s a good thing because Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1 serves as a great introduction to some great characters without carrying too much baggage for new readers.

I love what Joshua Dysart has done with Harbinger, and it looks like he’s going to do it again with Generation Zero. Each character is so well defined even after just one issue that it makes me want to see more. While we are introduced to the entire cast, the main character of the story is Cronus, the leader, and the book is told from his perspective. Like Peter, Cronus seems to be a deeply flawed character who is thrust into his leadership role not because of he wants to lead, but because he wants to make his family – the children of Generation Zero – stays safe. It is this same emotion which leads the kids to Mexico City to help in the relief effort.

It was great seeing Faith and Torque involved in this series and I hope they stick around as mentors to Generation Zero. The duo are helping the United Nations provide aid to Mexico City so it makes sense that they would continue doing good and being the superheroes Faith envisions them to be.

There is little not to like about the story or dialogue and I can’t wait to get the next issue.

The art

It is great to see Robert Gill doing some more work at Valiant after his amazing run on Eternal Warrior. There were a few panels which lacked the detail I would expect from Gill’s work, but those were few and far between. Overall, the art is quite fantastic and has a few outstanding panels which really help visualize the dire situation the characters are in. There is so much emotion in this book and Gill’s art does a tremendous job at portraying the destruction and anguish which all the characters are experiencing after the annihilation of Mexico City.

Romulo Fajardo does an exceptional job on colors. This issue is his first color work for Valiant and I hope we get to see him doing many more books.

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Overall

If you’re unfamiliar with Generation Zero, Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1 is a great introduction to the characters. Joshua Dysart’s storytelling remains among the best in comics. Writing an ensemble book can be difficult, but Dysart has cleared defined stories and personalities for each character and it is a joy to read. Robert Gill and Rumolo Fajardo bring this story to life with their beautiful visuals, and it makes me want more now. Overall, a solid start to what’s sure to be a large part of Harbinger’s future.

Rating [author-post-rating]

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  • Lee Nicholson

    Great review Martin.
    I think we are on the same waive length here with this one. For me it was very good, but not great. Holding it up to the standard set by Venditti on the flagship book was always going to be tough for these tie in books, this book did a better job than Bloodshot’s book.
    Once again, these tie in books dont really do anything to progress the overall story along. X-O is dealing with the Origin side of things, Bloodshot is focused on MERO and this book, Harbinger, is looking at the impact on Mexico City.
    Straight away this book is loads better than the Bloodshot tie in.
    Ive missed Gen Zero…alot. Characters that for me, are underused and deserve a bigger part in the ValU.
    The narrator is Christian aka Cronus, the leader of Generation Zero – he is one of the older members and boy, is he pissed at the world. From the start you get the impression he just wants to be left alone, just him and the family. They are finally free, able to make their own choices and go where they want to go…free will! He isnt interested In helping those in need, he doesnt want to be involved in others’ affairs and problems, he just wants quiet solitude for the group, and who can blame him, considering what they have all been through. Dysart does a great job with Christian, showing him to be strong, caring, trusting and as a farther and brother to his team. While the similarities between him and Peter are obvious, the big differences between them is that I honestly feel Cronus is the better leader and the better person… Kills me saying that as I love Peter.
    Dysart shows Christian to be a very pessimistic and cautious leader, making reference to the dangers of democracy, but allowing Cronus to embrace it all the same, by the end of the book though you get the impression he had rejected democracy altogether.
    The supporting cast are fleshed out very well, its great to see Monica back doing her cartoon animals and their seems to be something ominous about Cloud – watch out for further developments with her powers. Her ‘flashback’ to the destruction looked great on the page and all credit should go to Robert Gill, who for the most part, kills the art on the book. Gill is wonderfully great with close ups but I have to mention that his back ground characters are not all that good. But thats such a minor gripe. The backgrounds featuring the fires and chaos are great, giving a real sense of hell and the true tragedy of what has happened.
    While it was nice to see Faith and Torque, Im not all that sure why Dysart included them. Faith just seemed to get in the way and she never comes off that serious , even given whats happened.
    I appreciated greatly the focus on the would be President too. Its nice to see Dysart branch out a bit and cover other non- Harbinger centric characters, and it shows the fall out from other perspectives.
    As for continuity, this book did well. From the reference to the ‘Dogs of war’ rampaging through various cities to the actual disaster, Dysart did well to keep this book tied into the flagship title.
    While the book did nothing to accelerate the Armor Hunter plot, it did a good job at showcasing Generation Zero and the impact the Hunters’ arrival has had on Planet Earth.
    A very liberal 4/5